Leaving home wall switch - Here is my idea

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Looking for a reliable a way to mark my absense from the house. There is currently a standard single wall switch for the hall light just next to my exit door. I was thinking of replacing it with this.

The idea is that one of the switches of this sonoff will be used for the hall light and the other two for automation, without any light connected to them behind. What do you think? Any ideas?


  • Visible home/away indication (the switch has backlight which hopefully stays always on)
  • No batteries involved
  • There is still a switch for the hall light
  • I can switch my phone’s wifi off during the night (which currently I can’t since I’m using that as ‘at home’ indicator)
  • Relatively cheap
  • Can combine it with device tracking (eg. if my phone connects to wifi then mode will change to ‘Home’ but ‘Away’ mode will only be activated using this wall switch, or Google Home).


  • Not z-wave, but Wifi (not a big deal, I guess)
  • Touch switch instead of simple switch (more difficult to operate without looking)


I’d consider that a benefit rather than a drawback. I’ve found wifi devices to be a lot faster than zwave.


There are the Xiaomi Aqara push button switches if you wanted a physical button press rather than the touch type


Yes that would work too, but doesn’t have visual indication of the state. the wall switch blends better. Looks more normal. Also does not require batteries.


I second the endorsement of wifi over z-wave.


Aren’t you worried about energy consumption and network congestion. How well does the network work if there are 30 wifi devices on the same router? I mean z-wave is advertised as optimized for home automation, with its mesh, low latency and low energy consumption.


Spend money on a decent AP, go ubiquiti.


Why didn’t use zone ?
For exemple

  • a zone with a radius 25 m = home
  • a zone with a radius 250 m = near home
  • a zone with a radius 10000m = far home

then you can make automation based on enter/exit zone like

  • exit home, turn off all light
  • exit far home, turn on automation presence simulation
  • enter near home, turn on outdoor light
  • enter home, turn off outdoor light after 2 min

many things are possible if you combine zone and automation, and it brings an other dmension who is the distance between you and your home, impossible with physical switch


That would be great if we had a reliable way to measure position.
My phone position wanders hundreds of meters when it’s inside and relying on cell tower triangulation.


How would you reliably detect position? I don’t want to turn wifi and data connection off on my phone during the night.


For detecting being home I thought iBeacons would be the solution. I put half a dozen tiny USB ibeacons with the same UUID around the house plugged into cheap USB chargers. Unfortunately the iOS app hasn’t quite got the iBeacon zone enter/exit thing worked out yet. They’re back in storage waiting for future developments.


I just use device tracking (in my case with ios) like that and zone like that
and i use automation with trigger on enter/exit zone.

There is some unknow things about how ios manage the geoloc, but its work good for me.

/!\ you need to use the last beta version of home assistant for ios

if you use android, you can use app like owntracks and mqtt i think.


You are one of the very few.


since i have installed beta version of home assistant for ios, i have no more problem.

but there is always the alternative of owntracks even on ios.

i have not test other possibilities because this one is the more easy to set up, and for me is working.
And because there is something i didn’t understand with other possibilities but ??? see here


I will second the use of iOS. I have two phones working with the iOS app and two more with bluetooth presence (not BLE). All work flawlessly to determine home or away. The bluetooth may work for android devices, but I have not tested with them.


I second the bluetooth reliability. I had more horizontal coverage that I needed to provide so I installed a couple pi-Ws with HA and bluetooth to feed the data back to a central HA instance over mqtt.


All these solutions are quite cool, but I think it does make sense to have a button switch too, especially for the ‘walking away’ function. Else I will be depending on something that might turn off or loose connectivity and the system will think I left.

Do you have a suggestion based on this?


Are you UK based? It is just that I have one of these Sonoff wall switches upstairs and it needs a neutral wire. Most UK homes (older than say 10 years) do not have that in the lighting. As mine is installed upstairs it wasn’t such a pain to install the neutral wire as I could get to the loft etc, though downstairs may be a bit more challenging.

FWIW, they are excellent and look really good.

If you are outside the UK ignore me :slight_smile:


Luxembourg. Relatively new apartment. Thanks for the hint anyway.


I am not sure I am getting all your use-cases, though there is one thing that works reliably for me: When the door opens and “nobody is at home” input_boolean is true then an automation switches “nobody is at home” input_boolean to false (and this in turn triggers other automations). And I use cheap Xiaomi door sensor to get door open and close actions.